Flashbacks February 2007

In the Mood for Love?

Terrorist matchmakers; Singaporean makeout sessions; the truth about diamonds; tales from the frontlines of online dating...

We doubt The Atlantic is your source for commentary on love and relationships. But we do hope you'll enjoy this collection of romance-related Atlantic writings, especially selected in honor of Valentine's Day. Consider this our gift to you in lieu of flowers...

Yasir Arafat, Matchmaker?
Bruce Hoffman described how Yasir Arafat put the Black September terrorist group out of commission by making its members fall in love. "All You Need Is Love" (December 2001)

Government-mandated Lovemaking
Joshua Kurlantzick reported on Singapore's effort to counter its declining birth rate with an "All-Out Make-Out" campaign. "Love, Singaporean Style" (July 2001)

The Romance-Obsessed American
French commentator Raoul de Roussy de Sales critiqued Americans' neurotic preoccupation with love and romance: "It is as if the experience of being in love could only be one of two things: a superhuman ecstasy, the way of reaching heaven on earth and in pairs; or a psychopathic condition to be treated by specialists." "Love in America" (May 1938)

A Diamond is for ... Chumps?
Edward Jay Epstein explained how the diamond industry has been pulling a fast one on consumers for a very long time. "Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond?" (February 1982)

Love Is in the Air (or in the Wireless Connection)
Lori Gottlieb offered a firsthand report from the front lines of online dating. "How Do I Love Thee?" (March 2006)
(Plus—read the Letter to the Editor from the would-be suitor whose Match.com profile she quoted in the piece.)

Shakespeare in Love
Hear four poets—Linda Gregerson, Mark Doty, W. S. Merwin, and Lloyd Schwartz—read Shakespeare's famous Sonnet 116 aloud. Plus—read an introductory essay by Gregerson: is it really a love poem?... Soundings: "Sonnet 116" (October 27, 1999)

Presented by

Sage Stossel is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and draws the cartoon feature "Sage, Ink." She is author/illustrator of the graphic novel Starling, and of the children's books  On the Loose in Boston and On the Loose in Washington, DC. More

On Election Day in 1996, TheAtlantic.com launched a weekly editorial cartoon feature drawn by Sage Stossel and named (aptly enough) "Sage, Ink." Since then, Stossel's whimsical work has been featured by the New York Times Week in Review, CNN Headline News, Cartoon Arts International/The New York Times Syndicate, The Boston Globe, Nieman Reports, Editorial Humor, The Provincetown Banner (for which she received a 2009 New England Press Association Award), and elsewhere. Her work has also been included in Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year, (2005, 2006, 2009, and 2010 editions) and Attack of the Political Cartoonists. Her children's book, On the Loose in Boston, was published in June 2009.

Sage Stossel grew up in a suburb of Boston and attended Harvard University, where she majored in English and American Literature and Languages and did a weekly cartoon strip about college life, called "Jody," for the Harvard Crimson. From 2004 to 2007, she served as Books Editor of the Radcliffe Quarterly

After college she took what was intended to be a temporary summer position securing electronic rights to articles from The Atlantic's archive for use online. Intrigued by The Atlantic's rich history and the creative possibilities in helping to launch a digital edition of the magazine on the Web, she soon joined The Atlantic full time. As the site's former executive editor, she was involved in everything from contributing reviews, author interviews, and illustrations, to hosting message boards and producing a digital edition of The Atlantic for the Web.

Stossel lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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